The USB-C HUB market is really full, just a quick search on Amazon to find really all types and prices: however the Satechi Type-C Aluminum Stand & Hub for Mac Mini represents a very original and comfortable solution for those who have precisely the little one from Apple. Once positioned, it seems the natural physical continuation of the Mini but at the same time it provides a remedy for some of the shortcomings that the small Apple machine presents.
Satechi Type-C Aluminum Stand & Hub the design
The Satechi Type-C Aluminum Stand & Hub for Mac Mini contained in a simplified package; in addition to the hub, in fact, we only find a small, rather useless, information brochure. Just place it under the Mac mini, connect the cable to get it ready.
The shape is the same, millimeter by millimeter, of the Mac mini: even the color practically the same, with minimal differences that however emerge only on careful and really fussy examination (probably due to the different material used), so much so that it is hard to believe that was not made by Apple itself.
Its purpose is to expand the connectivity of the Mac mini. Once put into operation, you will have three USB 3.0 type A ports, a USB-C port, an audio jack, an SD and Micro SD reader. Recall that the Mac mini has 4 Thunderbolt ports (USB-C), two traditional USB and a 3.5 mm jack. In practice with this Hub you will have a port that you do not have (SD reader) and a total of five USB ports, five Type-C and two headphone jacks. Basically everything you need
The plastic hub is built to form the basis for the Apple computer. The computer rests on the HUB without hooks or joints; the weight of the mini makes the two pieces one. To those who asked if it is possible to keep the Mac and the hub separate, we say no. The cable is in fact very short and perfectly aligned with the port near the Mac mini power supply. Moreover, the Satechi Type-C Aluminum Stand & Hub has no power supply, the only USB-C cable that connects to one of the 4 Thunderbolt ports of the Mac
The doors, as mentioned, are all placed frontally. A small LED lights up when the HUB on, just below the standard Mac mini: in detail, the HUB turns on and off with the Mac, you don't need to do anything.
The ports obviously offer incredible practicality, especially for all those temporary connections, but apart from this the extreme versatility of the USB-C connection on the thunderbolt 3 port that is very popular.
In our tests we connected a 2 TB USB-A disc by Western Digital (the WD_Black P10), a second 5 TB USB-A disc also by Western Digital (the WD My Passport), a Sandisk Ultra Flair 32 GB USB stick and a 16 GB SanDisk Ultra Luxe Flash Unit and the HUB handled everything smoothly.
Obviously the speed calibrated on a USB-C connection, lower than the Thunderbolt 3 from which it draws, but normal; for most USB disks or sticks, it is enough and far forward.But what we liked most was the availability of the SD and Micro SD reader, a unit that Apple has decided to eliminate compared to the older generation of Mac mini but which here in the editorial office it continues to be very popular.
The only flaw, the Hub does not offer any cooling system: given that the Mac mini tends to heat a lot when putting it under stress, it would have been desirable to have a small fan that would help dissipation, also considering that the 'Plastic HUB does not help to disperse the heat at the bottom.
Satechi Type-C Aluminum Stand & Hub for Mac Mini truly remarkable and useful accessory to practically everyone color it that has a Mac mini: if true that Apple's design is always valuable, on the other the need to operate comfortably having them accessible from the front , with common USB-A, USB-C and SD ports.
In a professional context, since Apple also offers the Mac mini as a Rack, the Satechi unit becomes very convenient both as a base for a rack and as a middle unit among all the units.
The convenience of the USB-C port such that you don't need to struggle with autonomous power supplies, makes the whole Mac mini and the choice of a USB-C connection instead of a Thunderbolt 3 is not a problem, because in the Mac mini three other ports remain active available to the user.
Finally, the price, according to those who write perfectly in line with the capabilities of the product, considering that on the one hand the impeccable design and on the other that practically all HUB solutions on the market are designed (based on the length of the wire) for laptops and not for desktop computers.
- Design perfectly in line with Mac mini 2018
- The front doors are very comfortable
- No power needed
A heat dissipation system would have been useful
Satechi sells its products directly, including this HUB, on Amazon.it where it is offered for 79.99 euros.